One of the questions I hear quite often from writers just starting out is, “how do I build my brand with content?”
There are several ways to get yourself out there and build your writing portfolio to showcase your work for future clients. Let’s look at a few easy ways you can get started.
Use Google to find questions about HR that people commonly ask and then write an article or blog post that answers them. Start with a question on a topic that interests you and then explore what Google suggests with autocomplete and the “People also ask” section.
Once you’ve found a handful of questions, research them and write blog posts that answer those questions. The fun thing about this method is that the deeper you dig, the more questions you’ll find. Google is a never-ending source of inspiration!
Current HR Events
What’s going on in the world of HR today? Are there new laws in your local area that are causing disruptions in organizations — medical marijuana or increases in minimum wage, anyone?
What about federal laws or changes to policies? COVID-19 has affected HR in a significant way. While you don’t want your entire blog to be dated with current events, they are a great way to generate some useful content.
Take a look at current events and write a piece from your unique perspective. Put a unique spin on some pieces by including historical data and making comparisons.
Review Other HR Websites
Repeat after me: “Do Not Plagiarize.” When you review other HR websites, you’re looking for popular topics and general ideas that you can expand on. You’re not looking to borrow what’s already been written.
There may be some current news that you’ve missed or a topic that you hadn’t run across yet. See what’s out there to get a feel for what’s popular now and what interests you. Then write a better, more in-depth post — or write from an opposing viewpoint.
Seasonal content just works. Think about events that most organizations plan, like Holiday Parties, company retreats, and health fairs during benefits open enrollment. Write in-depth guides about how to plan or organize these different HR-related events.
Or, provide tips on how to deal with issues that may arise during the events. Some organizations have problems with attendance, it could fall to HR to help make events more popular.
Don’t forget tax time, end of year, annual employee evaluations, and other timely topics that affect HR departments. There are tons of content ideas that fall into this category.
Plan and Showcase Your Work
You need a website with a blog and portfolio. Your portfolio can contain your best blog posts, but also consider writing content that would be appropriate for clients. If you have clients and have sample work from those projects, all the better! Showcase what you’ve done in your portfolio. If you don’t have work you’ve completed that you can showcase, write some sample pieces that would work for different industries or clients.
For example, the HR department in a law firm faces different issues than the HR department for a food production plant. Research issues from different industries and write in their language to add to your portfolio.
Your blog can be general or more specific to your niche, if you have one. I think of the blog section as a way to showcase your brand; it also helps clients get to know you, and they can “hear” your voice. By comparison, your portfolio demonstrates exactly how you can help them build their brand.
Decide how many pieces you want to publish a week or month, and build out an editorial calendar with all the topics you unearthed in the first four sections of this post. Set deadlines on when you want to publish each piece, then work backward to see when you’ll need to have the outline, first draft, and final review completed to make that deadline.
What doesn’t get planned, doesn’t get done.
Done is Better Than Perfect
My final piece of advice is this: Do not waste your time trying to make every piece perfect.
You’ve written it, it’s good, now get it out there.
When you’re just starting out, you need to build your brand, and you do that with published content. Not content in review, not content that’s almost ready, only content that people can actually read will get your business off the ground.
Done is better than perfect because perfect never gets done.
By the way…whenever you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you launch and grow your HR writing practice.
1) Join our FREE community of HR writers to get support, ideas, and strategies to boost the content you create. Click Here to Join.
2) Buy a copy of the Complete Guide to Becoming a Professional HR Writer, my comprehensive guide on how to launch your HR writing career. Click Here to Learn More.